Three things we learned from Warriors win

Josh Morris of the Bulldogs is tackled by Shaun Johnson and Blake Ayshford of the Warriors. Photo / Getty Images.
Josh Morris of the Bulldogs is tackled by Shaun Johnson and Blake Ayshford of the Warriors. Photo / Getty Images.

Herald rugby league writer David Skipwith looks at three things we learned from the Warriors win over the Bulldogs in Wellington last night.

1. Much improved forward effort

After being embarrassed by Manly last week, the Warriors forwards stood up to be counted against the huge and highly rated Canterbury pack.

Prop Jacob Lillyman started off the bench after a quiet game against the Sea Eagles but responded well to rack up a game-high 174 metres off a series of strong carries.

Starting in Lillyman's place, youngster Sam Lisone was also outstanding, bending the Bulldogs' line with some aggressive running and hitting hard in defence.

Bodene Thompson also lifted the side's attacking power in his 80 minute return after three weeks out with a rib injury. The right-edge back-rower added impact out wide and underlined his value to the side by combining well with No7 Shaun Johnson.

2. Warriors desperate defence

The Warriors showed resilience and confidence in their defence and did well to contain the Bulldogs attack throughout numerous sets close to their own line.

Eight errors- many of them unforced - continued to put them under pressure but the Warriors worked hard to hold a straight defensive line and kept turning up to make their tackles.

They fell behind in the second quarter when Sam Perrett scored a double and Kerrod Holland crossed just before the break but a committed second-half effort saw them leak just one try when Holland got his second in the 75th minute.

3. Lolohea growing in confidence

Tui Lolohea is looking sharper with every outing and responding well to his elevated status after being brought off the right wing to join the key playmakers in the spine.

His looked sharp in his 15 minutes at five-eighth and made a seamless transition to fullback when Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was forced out of the game with a knee injury.

If Tuivasa-Sheck is ruled out for a lengthy period, the Warriors will breathe easier knowing they have another gun attacking weapon at their disposal while Thomas Leuluai can slot in to support Johnson in the halves.

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